Agenda and draft minutes

South Hams Council - Thursday, 19th May, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Follaton House. View directions

Contact: Email: Democratic.Services@swdevon.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1/22

Election of the Chairman of the Council;

(The Chairman will then read and sign the declaration of acceptance of office).

 

Minutes:

01/22    

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cllr L Austen be elected Chairman of the Council for the period expiring on the date of the Annual Meeting of the Council in 2023.

      

Cllr Austen subsequently declared and signed his acceptance of office.

 

2/22

Address by the New Chairman of Council

Minutes:

02/22    

In addressing the Council, Cllr Austen expressed his honour at being elected as Chairman of the Council and wished to thank his fellow Members for the opportunity.

 

During his address, Cllr Austen made specific reference to:-

 

-        his wish to pay tribute to the excellent work undertaken by the outgoing Chairman (Cllr Foss) and his predecessor (Cllr Rowe) in very difficult circumstances during the COVID-19 Pandemic;

 

-        the transformation of the Council Chamber to better reflect the modern Council that South Hams District Council was;

 

-        the work undertaken by officers throughout the pandemic in administering 12 different Business Grants Schemes on behalf of the Government, paying £85.9 Million via almost 20,000 individual payments, providing a lifeline for the residents and businesses of the South Hams.  Cllr Austen wished to thank the officers for their hard work and flexibility in adapting to meet the challenges of delivering this funding; and

 

-        our Ukrainian guests and their hosts. Cllr Austen highlighted the work taking place by the Council in: assisting with Welcome payments, helping with Benefits, providing support for the families, assisting in National Insurance support, helping with securing school places and the provision of free passes for local Leisure Centres.  As such, Cllr Austen announced that his chosen charity for his year in office would be the British Red Cross Ukrainian Crisis Appeal.

 

3/22

Vote of thanks to the Retiring Chairman

Minutes:

03/22    

In proposing and seconding the vote of thanks to the retiring Chairman, particular reference was made to the difficult circumstances that had resulted from the COVID 19 Pandemic and the excellent manner in which Cllr Foss had undertaken the role.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the thanks of the Council be extended to Cllr Foss for the manner in which he had performed his duties during his term of office as Chairman of the Council.

 

4/22

Response by the Retiring Chairman

Minutes:

04/22    

Cllr Foss proceeded to address the Council and highlighted how much he had enjoyed his time as Chairman and some of the challenges it had brought. He made particular reference to:-

 

-        his chosen charities.  Cllr Foss was pleased to announce that, during his year of office, he had raised the sum of £1,600 to be equally shared between his chosen charities of Devon Air Ambulance and Cancer Research UK.  Cllr Foss proceeded to pay tribute to his late wife, Judy, who had raised many thousands of pounds for each of these charities in her lifetime;

 

-        the hard work and support from the Council’s officers, particularly the Senior Leadership Team; and

 

-        the engagements he had attended.  Whilst he had enjoyed all of the engagements that he had attended during the year, his personal highlight had been the Lord High Admirals Divisions Event at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.

 

In conclusion, Cllr Foss thoroughly recommended the position of Chairman of Council to anyone who had the opportunity to undertake it and he hoped that Cllr Austen would enjoy his year of office in the same way that he had.

5/22

Appointment of the Vice Chairman of the Council

(The Vice Chairman will then read and sign the declaration of acceptance of office).

Minutes:

05/22

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cllr B Taylor be appointed Vice Chairman of the Council for the period expiring on the date of the Annual Meeting of the Council in 2023.

 

Cllr Taylor subsequently declared and signed his acceptance of office.

 

6/22

Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests and Non-Registerable Interests including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;

Minutes:

06/22                    

Members were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting but there were none made.

7/22

Minutes pdf icon PDF 539 KB

to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 31 March 2022

Minutes:

07/22

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 31 March 2022 were confirmed as a correct record.

 

8/22

Council Constitution pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

08/22    

The Council considered a report that proposed changes to the content and format of the Council Constitution, so that it reflected proposals to improve the clarity, efficiency and accountability of decision-making and that ultimately would result in a more user-friendly document. 

 

In introducing the report, the Leader stated:

               

i)          that the background to why the Council needed a Constitution and what it should contain was set out in the presented agenda report;

 

ii)      Members had been dissatisfied with the current document for quite some time and that work to update and modernise it had commenced in July 2021;

 

ii)         a full suite of documents had now been drafted but that during the recent consultation, Members had requested additional time to fully consider these, so as a result, only Chapters 1 (Introduction), 2 (Scheme of Delegation) and 3 ( Meeting Procedures Rules) were to be considered at this meeting for approval;

 

The Leader proceeded to outline and explain the proposed changes that were contained within the document.

 

At this point, the Monitoring Officer provided an update to the meeting on corrections made to the text since publication of the report and responded to questions from Members on points of clarity.

 

In the ensuing debate, particular reference was made to:-

 

(a)    an amendment to recommendation (1) (that subject to (2) the Council adopts the following documents as set out at Appendix A as a part of its Constitution and the Constitution is amended with immediate effect) was PROPOSED and SECONDED as follows:

 

‘that subject to (2) the Council adopts the following documents as set out at Appendix A as part of its Constitution and the Constitution, ‘upon Council adopting the Complete Constitution, including the documents that contain hyperlinks’

 

In support of the amendment, the proposer felt that delaying the adoption of the Constitution until the document was fully complete would permit all Members to propose and discuss potential amendments and concerns with the Monitoring Officer and other Officers to ensure that the document was approved in its entirety rather than piecemeal.

 

In discussion the following points were raised:

 

i)       Some Members expressed the view that all Members had already been given the opportunity to review and discuss each aspect of the Constitution prior to this meeting;

 

ii)      It was noted that Chapters 1 and 3 had previously been approved at the Council meeting held on 15 July 2021 (Minute 36/21 refers);

 

iii)     In support of the amendment, a Member stated that all Members should have been made fully aware of all proposed key changes to the existing document prior to its presentation for approval.

 

When put to the vote, the amendment was declared LOST;

 

 

(b)   a further amendment to the recommendations was PROPOSED and SECONDED as follows

 

‘Chapter 2 (page 38) Table 1 (part 1.3) Overview and Scrutiny add:

 

‘That no Member of the Executive or Development Management (DM) Committee appointed at the Annual Council meeting can be appointed to be Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’

 

In support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8/22

9/22

Representation on Political Groups pdf icon PDF 106 KB

to approve a review carried out in consultation with leaders of the Political Groups.  This is reflected in the list of Council Bodies – see item 10 below;

 

 

Minutes:

09/22

The Chairman advised Members that a review of the representation of the political groups on the Council’s Bodies had been carried out in consultation with the Leaders of the four Political Groups.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.   That it be noted that the Political Composition of the Council is as follows:-

 

·         A Conservative Group of 16 Members;

·         A Liberal Democrat Group of 10 Members;

·         An Independent Group of 3 Members; and

·         A Green Party Group of 2 Members.

 

2.      That the overall political balance of Council Bodies, as reflected in the paper set out in the presented agenda papers, be approved.

10/22

Appointment of Members to Bodies of the Council pdf icon PDF 97 KB

to appoint the Members to the Council Bodies for the 2022/23 Municipal Year

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

10/22    

The Council subsequently received nominations from the Group Leaders for the membership of the Bodies of the Council.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That, for the 2022/23 Municipal Year, Members be appointed to the Bodies of the Council as set out in Appendix A to these minutes.

11/22

Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of those Bodies of the Council pdf icon PDF 261 KB

to elect the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Bodies of the Council for the 2022/23 Municipal Year

 

Minutes:

11/22    

The Council received nominations from its Group Leaders for the positions of Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the Bodies of the Council.

 

Two nominations (Cllrs J Brazil and R Foss) had been received for the position of the Chairman of the Development Management Committee. When put to the vote, it was declared CARRIED that Cllr R Foss be appointed as Chairman of the Development Management Committee.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the Bodies of the Council for the 2022 / 2023 Municipal Year be as indicated below:-

                               

Body                                                                                      Chairman             Vice Chairman

 

Audit and Governance Committee                           Cllr L Austen       Cllr B Spencer

 

 

Council Tax Setting Committee                                   Cllr J A Pearce    Cllr H D Bastone

 

Development Management Committee                Cllr R Foss            Cllr R Rowe

 

Licensing Committee                                                      Cllr D Brown       Cllr R Rowe

 

Overview and Scrutiny Committee                           Cllr D Thomas    Cllr P C Smerdon

 

Salcombe Harbour Board                                              Cllr J Brazil           Co-opted Member

12/22

Appointment of Governance Boards / Panels pdf icon PDF 7 KB

to agree to the appointment of the Governance Boards / Panels for the 2022/23 Municipal Year

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

12/22    

Members proceeded to consider the appointment for the 2022/23 Municipal Year of the:-

 

(a)          Devon Building Control Partnership;

(b)          Joint SH/WD/Plymouth Joint Local Plan Partnership Board;

(c)           Rate Relief Panel;

(d)          Slapton Line Steering Group;

(e)          South Devon AONB Partnership Committee;

(f)           Tamar Valley AONB Partnership Committee; and

(g)          Waste Partnership Board.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the appointment of Governance Boards / Panels for the 2022/23 Municipal Year be approved, as set out in Appendix B to these minutes.

 

13/22

Appointment of Representatives on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 140 KB

to agree to the appointment of Members as representatives on Outside Bodies for the 2022/23 Municipal Year

 

NOTE: Although some of these appointments are accepted by the “Outside Bodies” for a period of years, it is the Council’s practice where possible to review all appointments annually.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13/22    

A report was considered that set out details of those Outside Bodies to which the Council appointed representatives and included a list of nominations for representation on these Outside Bodies.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That, for the 2022/23 Municipal Year, the Council:

 

1.      be represented on the list of Outside Bodies (as set out at Appendix C to these Minutes) and that, for the purposes of Members’ Allowances, attendance at meetings of these Bodies be regarded as an ‘Approved Duty’; and

 

2.      reinforce the recommendations that were generated by the Outside Bodies Task and Finish Group review in February 2021, including the importance of Members providing feedback to the wider membership via the Reporting Feedback template as set out at Appendix 2 of the presented agenda report.

 

14/22

Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 448 KB

the Chairman to announce if any item not on the agenda should be considered on the basis that he considers it as a matter of urgency (any such item to be dealt with under ‘Business Brought forward by the Chairman’);

 

Urgent Item:

Submission to UK Seafood Fund: Infrastructure (Round One)

Batson Fish Quay Infrastructure Upgrade Bid, Batson Creek, Salcombe

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14/22

(a)    Submission to UK Seafood Fund: Infrastructure (Round One)

 

The Chairman informed that he had agreed that one item of urgent business could be considered at this meeting.  The item was titled: ‘Submission to UK Seafood Fund: Infrastructure (Round One)’ and was considered urgent in light of the associated time constraints with making the submission and it was his intention for this item to be considered immediately.

 

As a result, a report was considered that sought approval from the Council for the submission of a bid to Round One of the UK Seafood Infrastructure Funding in relation to the Batson Fish Quay Infrastructure Upgrade.

 

In the ensuing discussion, particular reference was made to:-

 

o       the sustainability of the shellfishing industry was noted.  Furthermore, if the submission was successful, then the result would be that the Fish Quay would operate in a safer, more efficient and orderly manner; and

 

o       the proposals being at no cost to the Council Taxpayer whilst the industry represented a significant part of the South Hams economy.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.      That the submission of a funding bid to the UK Seafood Infrastructure Fund to support the replacement of the existing fisherman stores to address a number of infrastructure limitations which are constraining the productivity of the modern businesses that use the Quay be approved; and

 

2.      That the 25% match funding requirement of up to £1,000,000 be financed.  The match funding to be made up of: a contribution of £200,000 from the Marine Infrastructure Reserve; £200,000 from the Business Rates Retention Reserve; and the remaining £600,000 from the Public Works Loan Board (external borrowing) and that the exact financial treatment be delegated to the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Leader, lead Executive Member for Assets and the Head of Paid Service so as to deliver the most sustainable financial outcome.

 

 

15/22

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

15/22    

The Chairman advised that he did not have any further announcements to make at this time.

 

16/22

Reports of Bodies pdf icon PDF 193 KB

to receive and as may be necessary approve the minutes and recommendations of the under-mentioned Bodies

* Indicates minutes containing recommendations to Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16/22    

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes and recommendations of the undermentioned bodies be received and approved subject to any amendments listed below:-

 

a)     Audit Committee                                                          10 March 2022

 

A.39/21 Review Of Confidential Reporting Policy

 

With regard to the views of the Audit Committee whereby staff consultation was critical on the draft Policy, the Section 151 Officer advised that Trade Unions had been consulted.  In addition, reference to the Policy had been included in an issue of ‘People Matters’ (that was circulated to all members of staff) and was to be part of the Essential Learning Pathway for which all staff would be required to complete a learning module that set out the purpose and content of the Policy.

 

Having received these assurances, it was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Confidential Reporting Policy and related Frequently Asked Questions document (as attached at appendices 1 and 2 of the published agenda report to the Committee Meeting) be adopted.

 

 

b) Development Management Committee                 16 March 2022

 

c)   Overview & Scrutiny Committee                              17 March 2022

 

d) Special Executive                                                             31 March 2022

 

e)   Licensing Committee                                                     31 March 2022

 

f)   Executive                                                                            7 April 2022

 

E.105/21 Climate Change And Biodiversity Action - Council Net-Zero Update

 

RESOLVED

 

That authority be delegated to the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the lead Executive Member for Finance to:

 

a)     approve and agree the lending terms to Fusion Leisure for a loan of up to £500,000 to facilitate solar panel installation across all four Council Leisure Centres over the remaining term of the leisure contract, in accordance with Treasury Management advice; and

 

b)     update the Council’s Capital Strategy, Investment Strategy and Treasury Management Strategy for 2022/23 for a £500,000 loan provision to Fusion Leisure for the solar installation, in accordance with Treasury Management advice.

 

g)   Development Management Committee                 13 April 2022

 

h)  Overview & Scrutiny Committee                              21 April 2022

 

O&S.70/21 Annual Standards Report 2021/22

 

RESOLVED

 

That the appointments of George Barnicott, Trevor Kirkin, and Peter Boreham as Independent Persons be ratified from the Annual Meeting in May 2019 to the Annual Meeting in May 2023.

 

i)    Special Salcombe Harbour Board                              25 April 2022

               

With regard to recommendation SH.41/21 (Governance and Duty Holder Arrangements), it was confirmed that this item had already been approved as part of the Council Constitution review agenda item earlier in the meeting (Minute 08/22 above refers).

17/22

Questions

to consider the following question(s) (if any)  received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

 

a)      From Cllr Hodgson to Cllr Pearce, Leader of the Council

 

‘South Hams District Council has not declared an economic crisis, but has declared a housing crisis, so why are we borrowing £9 Million to support Aldi and a further £5 Million to support economic development in Devonport rather than investing in the social housing in South Hams that our residents need?’

 

Minutes:

17/22    

It was noted that one question had been received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

 

a)         From Cllr Hodgson to Cllr Pearce, Leader of the Council

 

‘South Hams District Council has not declared an economic crisis, but has declared a housing crisis, so why are we borrowing £9 Million to support Aldi and a further £5 Million to support economic development in Devonport rather than investing in the social housing in South Hams that our residents need?’

 

In response, Cllr Pearce advised that she noted with interest that Cllr Hodgson had vigorously opposed the delivery of 36 affordable houses in Dartington at the last Development Management Committee meeting.  By her maths, Cllr Pearce stated that this represented an investment of approximately £5 million of affordable housing that she would have seen prevented.  This led Cllr Pearce to question whether Cllr Hodgson believed that there was a Housing Crisis or not.

 

In addition, Cllr Pearce informed that it was overly simplistic to suggest that the Council must do one over the other.  The Council’s adopted Corporate Strategy (Better Lives for All) was clear that the Council wanted to see more affordable housing provision, more jobs and better skills training to support the South Hams economy.  The Council was delivering on that through the Ivybridge proposals, the Freeport initiative and the Housing Crisis work.

 

In response to a supplementary question, Cllr Pearce set out the extensive levels of public consultation that had been undertaken on the Ivybridge proposals.

 

18/22

Notice of Motion

to consider the following motions received (if any) in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.1

 

(a)    By Cllrs Abbott and Birch

 

“The Aldi Project at Ivybridge has given rise to planning, financial and local economic concerns from members of the public and outside bodies/ organisations.

 

Whilst acknowledging that the planning concerns will be addressed by the Development Management Committee in the determination of the planning application, the financial and economic concerns remain to be addressed.

 

To address these concerns Council requests the Overview and Scrutiny Committee examine those parts of the project relating to its finance and economic consequences, and report back to the July meeting of Council with its findings and recommendations.”

 

 

(b)    By Cllrs Hodgson and Rose

 

“As part of its new climate policy for planning, this council will require Flood Modelling to be carried out for new developments over 10 houses and all new drainage assessments are based on the most recently published IPCC (intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) reports to ensure that the most up to date risk assessment data is applied.”

 

 

Minutes:

18/22

It was noted that two motions had been received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.1.

 

(a)    By Cllrs Abbott and Birch

 

“The Aldi Project at Ivybridge has given rise to planning, financial and local economic concerns from members of the public and outside bodies/ organisations.

 

Whilst acknowledging that the planning concerns will be addressed by the Development Management Committee in the determination of the planning application, the financial and economic concerns remain to be addressed.

 

To address these concerns Council requests the Overview and Scrutiny Committee examine those parts of the project relating to its finance and economic consequences, and report back to the July meeting of Council with its findings and recommendations.”

 

In his introduction, the proposer emphasised that, as a Member of the Development Management Committee, he would be making no comments on the planning merits of the proposals.  However, the proposer was of the view that the options, opportunities and challenges associated with the proposals had still to be fully explored.  Furthermore, the potential impact on both the local economy and the vibrancy of the town centre also warranted further consideration and it was therefore felt that a formal review by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee was justified.

 

During the ensuing debate, reference was made to:

 

(a)    a great deal of correspondence having already been sent to Members of the Development Management Committee;

 

(b)    the financial aspects of the Scheme being fully explored before Members took a final decision and that that project was next due to be considered at the Executive meeting in July 2022;

 

(c)    parking arrangements.  The point was made that incorrect information was circulating in the town of Ivybridge and this needed to be corrected. The Council was currently examining options relating to alternative parking arrangements during the construction phase of the supermarket;

 

(d)    local retailers being likely to benefit from a large supermarket opening in the town due to the increase in footfall it would bring;

 

(e)    the project being as closely monitored as possible and, as such, in addition to the Executive meeting of 7 July 2022, it should also be brought before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and, if scheduling permitted, the Audit Committee;

 

(f)     the intention of the motion.  In support of the motion, it was noted that this Motion on Notice was not concerned with the merits of whether or not the Aldi development should progress, it was simply seeking approval for the proposals being brought to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for further examination to demonstrate to local residents that the Council was listening to their concerns;

 

       When put to the vote, the Motion was declared LOST.

 

 

(b)   By Cllrs Hodgson and Rose

 

“As part of its new climate policy for planning, this council will require Flood Modelling to be carried out for new developments over 10 houses and all new drainage assessments are based on the most recently published IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) reports to ensure that the most up to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18/22